Betty: A Force of Life

Betty Davis was a member of my church and her funeral is tomorrow morning. She was a force of life! And she will be missed.

My Top Ten Favorite Things About Betty

  1. She and Ed got married at 16 and ran off to California.
  2. She called him “Cowboy”
  3. Did babysitting for months to buy him the guitar he wanted.
  4. She loved Hallmark movies.
  5. She was a red head.
  6. Made Oreo Cookies and Ice Cream a food group.
  7. Got her hair done every week, until Ed died.
  8. They lost their two sons in 1974 and 1981, but chose to live happy anyway.  
  9. Ed and Betty opened their home and their hearts to everyone all the time.
  10. Her house was a safe haven for many kids, a home filled with joy. 
  11. She loved her Lord, her church, and her family, and everyone was family.

Okay, that’s eleven things. But the list could go on and on. She leaves a legacy of faith, family, and fortune; not the kind that fills your bank account, but the kind that fills your soul. 

Pink lemonade, turkey sandwiches, coconut cream pie, chocolate cream pie, every kind of cookie, cold milk, soft drinks galore, and of course, the Oreos and ice cream. These are only some of the things Betty kept in her home so everyone who came to her home would always find their favorite snack.

To Close

Her funeral service will be packed, probably standing room only. She lived a full and purposeful life. She overcame great adversity and gave great advantage to so many others. She was happy.

Betty Louise Davis

1935-2018, she was 82 years old

She is with the Lord

It Was An Excellent Game!

“Underdog Beats Favored Champion

There were five kinds of viewers of last night’s game:

  1. Patriots Fans
  2. Eagles Fans
  3. Football Fans
  4. Socializers
  5. Commercial Watchers 

Some rooted for the Patriots. Some rooted for the Eagles. Some wanted a close, competitive game. Others watched because they were at a party. And some watched to watch the commercials. 


It was the Super Bowl. 

A Good Game

I thought it was entertaining. It had several lead changes, some fantastic plays, and was close down to the final seconds And my wife had excellent snacks. 

But the underdog beat the favored team. 

The Underdog

There’s just something special about the little guy upsetting the big guy.

In regular life, where the consequences matter, it gets more serious. Both David and Goliath stepped onto the battle field, but only one stepped off, it was the shepherd boy, a huge upset.

We have giants:

  1. competitors
  2. enemies
  3. rivals
  4. setbacks
  5. circumstances 

 How we face our giants may be as important, or even more important, than the outcome.

Jesus Said This

“Blessed are you when insulted and persecuted…” Matthew 5:11

“Be reconciled to your brother.” Matthew 5:24

“Make peace quickly with your adversary,” Matthew 5:25

“If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:39

“Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

To Close

It’s not a popular viewpoint. Some say it reeks of cowardice and appeasement. But Jesus taught that loving one another was more important than winning the fight.

Certainly, we should stand for truth or we’ll fall for anything. Conviction is vital. But our  path is one of peace, not the sword. We don’t beat others with clubs, or with the truth, we shouldn’t be beating heads at all.

“Underdog Beats Favored Champion”

Congratulations to the Eagles for upsetting your favored opponent!

But for regular life:

“As much as possible, as far it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.” 





The True Conquerors

Here is a famous quote about Alexander the Great:

“Alexander wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”


There is no known record in antiquity that verifies the quote. In fact, it’s probably a misquote from something Plutarch wrote:

“Alexander wept upon hearing that there were infinite worlds, realizing that he had not yet conquered even one.”

A Conqueror of Worlds

And Another Conqueror?

He wasn’t a general, or a conqueror, but he was used to help a nation become conquerors, the Assyrian Empire.

His name was Jonah and he was a prophet of God who was sent to the city of Nineveh, a tough assignment as prophets didn’t preach to Gentiles, didn’t go to their cities. 

In fact, he refused and boarded a ship headed the opposite direction. But he ended up in the sea, and in a manner of speaking, was rescued. So, he reluctantly went to Nineveh and preached a message of repent or parish. And they repented, even the King.

The Greater Lesson

There was a time when Assyria was in chaos and vulnerable. That’s when Jonah preached to them and turned them to Yahweh. But later, after regaining their supremacy, they turned away from God and became Israel’s nemesis.

Did God preserve the Assyrians, so he could later use them to attack and deport the faithless people of Israel?

Did Jonah understand what God was doing?  Could he see that the people he helped to turn to God would one day be used by God to attack his homeland? 

To Close

I don’t know if Alexander wept or not. But Jonah did. He wasn’t a soldier, a general, or a conqueror of worlds. He was a prophet and he served God’s greater purpose.

God has a great purpose for us as well. Perhaps less grand than that of Jonah, but still a purpose of divine origin: to build up, to encourage, to serve and to be the light of God.

Alexander wept for there were not more worlds to conqueror.

Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t, it doesn’t really matter.

For we are the true conquerors.

 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 8:37

The Hard Is What Makes It Great

Tom Hanks, playing team manager Jimmy Dugan, said this famous line:

“ It’s supposed to be hard.”

“If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

The Hard

He was referring to professional baseball. Of how difficult it was, of its sacrifices and demands. As if baseball was tougher than what most athletes could handle.

He said it to his catcher, the best player in the league, who was quitting and going home because it got too hard, and did so just hours before game 1 of the World Series.

Did It Work?

His speech only deepened the catcher’s resolve. He lost his best player.

They lost the first couple of games, then found their stride, and battled back to tie it up with the deciding game to be played.

While warming up for the final game, the catcher finally had a change of mind  and showed up to play. Spirits soared, enthusiasm was high, and they had the lead through 8.5 innings. It came down to the last pitch and the last out. They lost.

The movie was, “A League of Their Own” a fictitious story about the “All-American Girls Professional Baseball League,” which was founded by Philip K. Wrigley and existed from 1943 to 1954. Over 600 women played, and they were popular. In 1948, league attendance peaked over 900,000.  


The catcher was Dottie Hinson, played by actress Geena Davis. It’s a good movie, but the kind of story only found in Hollywood.

Life Lessons

We face tough choices and make hard decisions that we have to live with. Rarely can we un-ring the bell and play in the final game. It makes for a fun movie, but has little resemblance to real life.

Except for this. Life is often hard. Life takes courage, fortitude, and strength. True success isn’t easily gained, if it were, everyone would have it. The hard is what makes it gratifying, and beneficial.

To Close

I’ll leave you with this:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9                                                                                                                               

“It’s supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great.”


Day One: Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 1

Have you ever lost a child? Ever had to search for your child?

When The Kids Were Young

We took separate cars to church. I would leave early and the family would come later. It worked fine. But not the Sunday when my wife left after church, thinking our son was coming with me. I walked in the house, she looked at me, and said,

“You left him behind?”

I went searching and found him at the Father’s house, he was still at church.

And Jesus?

At age twelve, Jesus was no longer a boy, but transitioning to manhood. Culturally, if he had learned the Torah, he would be rewarded with his first trip to Jerusalem for Passover. He was with Mary, Joseph and the caravan as they traveled to the temple.

Afterwards, returning home, they realized that Jesus was missing, that he wasn’t with the caravan. So, Mary and Joseph went back to look for him, probably walking all night. Imagine how worried they must have been, and afraid.

They Found Him

After three days, they found him in the temple courts, with the Rabbis, who were amazed with Jesus. Mary and Joseph were less amazed and more astonished. They were upset with their first born.

Jesus in the Temple Courts

Mary said,

“Son, why have you treated us like this? We have anxiously searched for you.”

Jesus said,

“Why were you searching, didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”  

But they didn’t understand. They didn’t understand that his being in the Father’s house was being about the Father’s business.  

His Father’s Business

Before he ascended, there was a resurrection, a tomb, a cross, and a ministry. There was time in Egypt. There were shepherds, wise men, and a violent, ruthless King. There was a virgin birth. All of which were the Fathers’ business.

In Closing

Jesus was never lost, and frankly, didn’t need his parents to find him, but we understand why they did. He wasn’t lost, just moving forward to the time when he would be the one doing the searching, the one who would seek and save the lost.

TheNativity (600 x 300)

Merry Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Is it really? 

It’s What The Song Says

Do you know Edward Pola or George Wyle? Probably not? But you know a song they wrote,

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

They published their song in 1963, and that same year Andy Williams recorded it on his Christmas album, cleverly entitled, “The Andy Williams Christmas Album.”

Some Of The Lyrics:

“With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer.”

“It’s the hap-happiest season of all, with those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings when friends come to call.”

“There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Not my typical Christmas, not even close!

A Wistful Carol?

It describes the Christmas I always want but never have. It mentions parties, friends dropping by, and gay happy meetings. And don’t forget the marshmallows and caroling. Sounds wonderful. It should, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

 Truthfully, Christmas isn’t like that for me. It’s often rushed, harried, and stressful. There are deadlines to meet and too many events to attend. The kids aren’t jingle belling, nobody’s dropping by and there’s no snow for caroling.

Am I A Scrooge?

Nope, I love Christmas. It just can’t live up to the hype. The song portrays an experience  beyond my reach. For me, the beauty of Christmas is found elsewhere.

It’s found in the birth of Christ. My Christmas is a blend of the bible story and our personal traditions.

During the year, I’m all about his death, burial, and resurrection. But in the holiday season, I’m all about his birth. I lift him up, high and exalted, for coming to our world.

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.”

To Close

I live in Houston, so I probably won’t be caroling in the snow. However, I will be celebrating and thinking how the universe must have shivered in awe as God came near in the infant King.


Over the next twelve days, I’ll blog the Christmas story, beginning with his childhood and moving back to the night of his birth.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Merry Christmas